DUBAI: Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry recorded a 20% month-on-month (m-o-m) increase in the value of member companies’ exports to Africa in June 2020, which reached AED 2.94 billion ($800 million).
The value of exports and re-exports to Africa, tracked by Certificates of Origin (COOs) issued to Dubai Chamber member companies, signalled a rebound in trade activity with Africa to average levels seen during the January-March 2020 period.
A rebound in trade activity
Of the AED 883 million ($240 million) worth of members’ exports and re-exports targeting Sub-Saharan Africa in June, AED 508.3 million ($138.3 million) went to East Africa, AED 249.5 million ($67.9 million) to West Africa, AED 92 million ($25 million) to Central Africa, and AED 33.3 million ($9 million) to Southern Africa.
Despite the wide disparity in value among the sub-regions, West Africa, along with Central Africa, were the main drivers of the rebound seen in June. Member exports to North Africa accounted for two-thirds of the export value to Africa for June, or AED 2.05 billion ($558 million), followed by Sub-Saharan Africa AED 883 million ($240 million).
On a regional level, the value of members’ exports to Central Africa saw the biggest m-o-m increase of 48%, followed by North Africa (25%), West Africa (12%) and Sub-Saharan Africa (8.6%).
Nigeria was identified as one of the best-performing markets in the Sub-Saharan Africa during recent months. Members’ exports to Nigeria in June amounted to AED 112 million. Plastics such as ethylene-alpha-olefin copolymers, polyethylene in primary forms, along with plates and sheets accounted for 23% of exports to this market. Machinery contributed another 15% of exports, and came mainly in the form of drills, hydraulic engines, and appliances.
Angola, Dubai’s largest exports partner in the Central Africa sub-region, accounted for AED 33 million worth of members’ exports in June. The nature of commodities exported to the country is broad, and includes foodstuff items, such as cereal flour, palm oil, and dairy products, which are in high demand within this market.
Strong momentum observed in West and Central Africa sub-regions is likely to continue throughout the second half of 2020, as African cities continue easing movement restrictions and business activity continues returning to pre-Covid-19 levels.